A large sunspot was the source of a powerful solar flare (an X 9.3) and a coronal mass ejection (Sept. 6, 2017). The flare was the largest solar flare of the last decade. For one thing, it created a strong shortwave radio blackout over Europe, Africa and the Atlantic Ocean. Sunspot 2673 has been also the source of several other smaller to mediumÐsized solar flares over the past few days. Data from the SOHO spacecraft shows the large cloud of particles blasting into space just after the flare. Note: the bright vertical line and the other rays with barred lines are aberrations in our instruments caused by the bright flash of the flare. Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA.
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